By Liz Bottner, VisionAware Peer Advisor
VisionAware Peer Advisor Deanna Quietwater Noriega‘s first book-Fifty Years of Walking with Friends brings the reader along on an authentic, captivating journey with the author as she learns to navigate the world accompanied by her nine guide dogs. The partnership with each guide is described in detail, with more than half of the book being devoted to her first guide, Tammy. Deanna spares no detail about the partnership of each guide from the moment of being matched to learning to work with and trust one another to the inevitable time of retirement and beyond. With each partnership comes valuable lessons in life, love, laughter and of course, dog!
In addition to introducing the reader to her guide dogs, Deanna also spotlights friends and family members who have made a lasting impact on her life. Deanna uses a combination of poetry and prose to tell the story of her life and the integral role her guide dogs have played in the journey. By combining poetry and prose and using poems to introduce book chapters, Deanna infuses her writing with an emotional richness and depth that prose alone can’t always communicate to a reader.
There is something in this book for everyone. Fellow guide dog users can laugh and cry with Deanna as she describes how partnering with a guide dog has positively impacted her life. She gives people considering a guide dog a detailed glimpse of what life with one (or nine) dogs entails. The underlying message of the book is one of raw honesty, hope, determination, perseverance, occasional frustration, and success; in terms of navigating the world despite vision loss. The book is available in Kindle format at Amazon.com: Fifty Years of Walking with Friends eBook: Noriega, DeAnna: Kindle Store.
Postscript: Deanna Quietwater Noriega wrote her first book-Fifty Years of Walking with Friends – in honor of her mother who just had her 90th birthday! To quote Deanna, “I have been working on it for years, but lacked the courage to send it out into the world. If I hadn’t been struggling over my disappointment at not being able to be with my mother for her 90th birthday, this book would probably still be trapped in a file on my computer. Wanting it as a gift for Mom made me take the risk of taking it out of my computer and discovering if I really have a story to tell that others want to read.”
Yes, Deanna, you do!